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The Brief: Spiking Salaries for University, System Leaders

The Tribune's Matthew Watkins has a report this morning on ballooning compensation for Texas universities' chancellors and presidents.

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The Big Conversation

The Tribune's Matthew Watkins has a report this morning on ballooning compensation for Texas universities' chancellors and presidents.

He writes, "In the past four years, total pay has grown 70 percent for the leaders of Texas’ six university systems and presidents of those systems’ namesake schools — the University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, the University of North Texas, the University of Houston and Texas State University. In 2012, their average compensation was $565,000. In 2016, it’s $955,000, according to data from the Legislative Budget Board."

Four top-level public university administrators now make in excess of $1 million per year, Watkins reports.

"The growth is uneven, but each of the six university systems is paying its chancellors and flagship university presidents significantly more than in 2012," he writes. "In some cases, turnover can at least partially explain the growth. In others, the administrators simply received big raises."

Nevertheless, a spike in compensation packages comes alongside continued tuition increases that are hitting Texas parents in the pocketbook. And that has lawmakers' attention.

Watkins noted that Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick decried this week large bonuses and salaries for top employees, suggesting it was a sign universities aren’t being as stingy with their money has they have suggested.

“If you go into higher education,” Patrick said at a press conference in the Capitol, “you don’t do it to get rich and make a million dollars per year.”

Disclosure: The University of Texas System, the University of Texas at Austin, the Texas A&M System, Texas A&M University, the University of Houston, Texas Tech University, the University of North Texas and the Texas State System have been financial sponsors of The Texas Tribune. A complete list of Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.

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The Day Ahead

•    The Tribune hosts a day-long symposium on the state of the Texas economy at the University of Houston Central Campus - Bauer College of Business. Topics of discussion will include best practices in job creation, the fight over economic incentives, what’s next for tax reform and the inner workings of the Texas budget. The event will be livestreamed for those unable to attend in person.

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Quote to Note

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News From Home

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Trib Events for the Calendar

•    The Texas Tribune's third Texas-centric Trivia Night on May 1 at The Highball in Austin

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•    A Conversation on Mental Health Matters on May 10 at KLRU Studio 6A in Austin

•    The Texas Tribune Festival on Sept. 23-25 at the University of Texas at Austin

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